Former GOP leader apologizes to Obama, says Republicans harbor ‘racist views’

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 22:36 EDT
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Jim Greer isn’t very well liked among his former colleagues, but after this, they may just hate him.

Greer, former chairman of the Florida Republican Party, is accusing his longtime associates of secretly harboring “racist views,” and he’s apologized to President Obama for statements he made damning a speech to American students in 2009.

“In the year since I issued a prepared statement regarding President Obama speaking to the nation’s schoolchildren, I have learned a great deal about the party I so deeply loved and served,” he informed members of the media, in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, I found that many within the GOP have racist views and I apologize to the president for my opposition to his speech last year and my efforts to placate the extremists who dominate our party today. My children and I look forward to the president’s speech.”

To apt newswatchers, Greer should sound familiar. After losing his chairmanship in January, Florida Governor and former Republican Charlie Crist called for an investigation into the state Republican Party’s finances. Greer was arrested in June and charged with one count of organized scheme to defraud, four counts of felony grand theft and one count of money laundering. Crist would later apologize for selecting Greer as the party chairman.

Party leaders charge that Greer stole over $125,000.

The apology he issued to Obama stemmed from comments he made in Sept. 2009, attacking the president for what he called an attempt at “indoctrinating” students into “socialist ideology.”

“As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” he declared in a press release. “The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.”

Greer’s trial, Florida’s News 13 reported on Tuesday, will be delayed until after the 2010 elections.

“The politics of this are just disgusting,” his attorney told reporters.

Florida Republicans said Saturday that they may sue Greer and Gov. Crist, along with the party’s former executive director Delmar Johnson. A decision was forthcoming.

In a separate letter to Crist, Greer accused his former colleagues of being “liars, racists, and extremists … (who) will stop at nothing to cover for their own misdeeds.”

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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